The Record » New body to channel people’s passion for justice

Mother of three Carol Mitchell says she’s excited to be in charge of the newly established Justice, Ecology and Development Office (JEDO) for the Archdiocese of Perth.

The new agency, which opened last month, has replaced the Catholic Social Justice Council (CSJC), with Mrs Mitchell serving as the inaugural director.

Speaking to The Record recently, Mrs Mitchell said her experiences working with marginalised people – including prisoners, the disabled and immigrants – has prepared her well for her new role.

“Social justice is an issue that’s a personal passion and I think that’s demonstrated through some of the places I’ve worked,” she said.

“It’s something I’m really looking forward to.” Former director of the CSJC Jim Smith said establishing the new office was an important step for the Archdiocese to take.

“I was engaged in the role [of director of the CSJC] for two years and found that within the work of social justice there was a lot of opposition to actually moving forward, and felt there was a need for some significant change,” he said.

“We think the new office structure is a big step forward because it gives us a fresh start. It hasn’t abandoned social justice, but it has broadened the scope a little by encouraging closer collaboration with [Catholic] Earthcare… and also with Caritas.”

The new agency’s mandate states that it is “concerned with defending individual human dignity, promoting solidarity and fostering the common good”.

“It works to cultivate personal and social responsibility, to stand with the marginalised and to actively safeguard the integrity of all creation.”

Mrs Mitchell said she sees her role as one of directing people to the area they are passionate about and enabling them to actively engage in that area.

“There are a lot of people who really do want to be more active,”she said…


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